June 1st, 2006


June, 2006 Monthly Letters

This is a placeholder for comments about the June, 2006 Monthly Letters. Most likely I will not be able to get to them as soon as they appear. I will update this FOOBiverse's Journal entry as soon as I can. Snark away!!!


Elly's Letter, June 2006

My clean sweep is near to completion; the basement is straightened, the closets have been purged and the garage is cleared of detritus but the yard is still in an advanced state of neglect.

Isn’t detritus = loose material that results from disintegration? What have you been doing in that garage, Elly?

We have a couple of trouble spots on our back lawn (courtesy of Dixie), and my flower beds are in a rough state.

Dixie? I think Edgar deserves some of the blame. I sense Elly still resents having taken in Dixie.

Earaches are so painful that I keenly felt his discomfort and spent a lot of time trying to relieve it with warm compresses and the drops prescribed for him.

Ding Ding Ding – Someone looked up the actual remedies for earaches. I wondered if they would ever do that.

Still, I remember the rich taste of rum and hot milk, or brandy with butter, honey and cream. Those remedies were almost worth getting sick for!

I didn’t know Elly was a lush as a young girl.

I always picked a sugar cone, but Merrie prefers the cup and spoon- which is fine because it's far neater! I got some great photos while she was eating, which will make her parents melt and undoubtedly will be used to embarrass her when she brings home the boyfriends.

Yes. Grandma, I was a sloppy eater. I chewed with my mouth open. I was only 3. I could have had sugar cones, but I knew you were taking pictures to embarrass me, so I always got the cup and spoon.

The professor's teaching style reminds me of Elizabeth's - they both use plenty of humour, useful mnemonic devices, and sarcasm when required to make sure information is retained.

I guess Elly is saying she observed Elizabeth teach when she was in Mtigwaki. So, that’s Elizabeth’s style. Did we see that? I only remember a series of lessons with Elizabeth feeding Jesse Mukwa straight lines.

It's her life to live, of course, but it's hard for me when she's so far out of reach. I try not to be selfish, but I can't help it. Liz is not only my daughter, but she's one of my best friends. I miss her desperately when she's away. I try to keep my feelings to myself, but they exist nonetheless.

First April is John’s best friend. Now Liz is Elly’s best friend, but she is trying to keep those “feelings” to herself. Now we really know why Liz never shares information with Elly and wants to get away from her. I wonder which one parent was Mike's "best friend."

April, thankfully, has a few years left before she flies the coop. She's working at Lilliput's this summer - it was kind of Moira to keep her job available after my retirement, although it makes sense.

Retcon Alert: It looks like April is not going to watching her cousin Laura do animal surgeries in Winnipeg after all.

Her band has plans to practice regularly, but it's hard to get five people together during the warmer months, so she'll have work to keep herself busy (and to help pay for her education).

It’s hard to get 5 people together during the warmer months. Let me see. Why would that be? They are not in school. There’s no ice on the roads. Makes perfect sense. All that heat.

John's Letter, June 2006

Maybe it's because we are all brought up to feel guilty for some reason. It keeps us from really enjoying things. Whoa, this is getting too deep for me!

John is saying he was brought up in a house that made him feel guilty. There’s a story I have never heard before. Grandpa Will collects rocks, so John felt guilty if he didn’t collect something too.

Perhaps the older I get, the more childish I will become.

Truer words were never spoken, John.

I have been looking at a much smaller house with a MUCH bigger yard, I have to admit, but those folks are not interested in selling,

Retcon Alert: It’s back to “folks” now. In John's April, 2006 monthly it was an "older man", and it was originally an older couple. Make up your mind John. How many people live in the house you plan to retire to? More importantly, if they are not interested in selling, what are you going to do to make them interested? We know you're not going to do the sensible thing and look at a different house.

She realized she likes it down here more... which is no surprise, since everything she is used is here. But she is hoping the young fellah she is dating is going to move to the big city- he is from a small village up there. Now there is a soap opera conflict storyline.

You said a mouthful John. Why is it that everyone seems to know Liz is in love now, when they barely acknowledged she had a boyfriend before?

Liz's young man sounds like he wants to stay in the bush! Too bad, when you fall in love with a certain tree, only to discover it has deep roots.
I know it's going to be hard on Liz to come back, likely be single again, and feel a little like an amphibian... a little bit northern, and a little bit southern. It will take time to get comfortable again with her new self, whatever that will be!

Paul is a tree with deep roots. Liz is an amphibian. Those are interest analogies and pretty much show that Dr. Patterson seems to be blissfully unaware of the actual situation. You see, Dr. P, you can transplant a tree with deep roots if you are willing to take the time and care to do it properly and not just try to yank it out and move it with no preparation, like a certain amphibian you know tried to do. The amphibian analogy works pretty well. Young Liz is like a gilled larva in Mtigwakian water that matures to an air-breathing creature that can only thrive in the pollution-filled air of the city.

In life, pain is a good thing.

Pain is good. Spoken like a dentist. It sounds like he knows my dentist, who put the hurt on me during my last appointment.

Liz's Letter, June 2006
and I'm afraid I won't get to spend much more time with Grandpa. I hope it will be a long time before I have to worry about Mom and Dad the way my mother worries about Grandpa, but I'd still like to be closer to them while they're in such good health.

Liz and Grandpa. Let me think Liz. When you have been home over the last 3 years, you have been to visit your Grandpa how many times? Could it be zero times? You haven’t had a conversation with your grandpa in years. Give us a break.

So I'll be okay for the summer at least, and I'll be able to shop around for a full-time job later without being panicky about my finances - for awhile!

Retcon Alert: No Markham, as mentioned in the May monthly. I wonder why they backed off that.

And then there's Paul. I haven't been this much in love before.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Liz says “love” and “Paul” in the same sentence for the very first time, and it’s when she is leaving him. I guess this is one of those, I didn’t realize what I had with Paul until people snarked me mercilessly for the way I was treating him.

And now I'm moving further away than ever. Even though he said he'd put in for a transfer we have no idea how long it'll take, or if it'll happen. And he'll have to leave his family far behind if he moves to Toronto. What if it doesn't work? What if he decides I'm not worth it?

Liz is actually thinking of the effect on Paul. Too bad she didn’t do that in the strip, it would have made for a much more interesting dialogue. There is still no reason for the immediacy of the move. But at least she is recognizing that it is possible Paul won’t get the transfer. Pretty honest statements from Liz. Notice however, there is not one word about visiting Paul or Paul coming to Mississauga.

April's Letter, June 2006

it'll be cool to see a new gang come in looking all scared and stuff on their first day. But that won't be until September.

April goes to an interesting school where the new people are frightened to be there. April is taking an unusual delight in their fear.

I had a big fight with Mom a couple of days ago. Duncan and Gerald were mad at each other last week, and Becky had a huge hissyfit at one of her friends in the hall at school.

Fight. Fight. Fight. Now if we only knew what those fights were about. I guess the battle of the bands story has been dropped, if the band has stopped practicing. No mention of Eva though, but a mention of Becky. They don’t seem to be able to decide if Eva has replaced Becky or not in this strip.

The grade twelves are acting weird - they're nervous about getting into college and university, and they're crying and hanging around in big groups all the time, hugging and laughing and making a TON of noise. Liz said that it happened when she was in high school too - even though some of her classmates couldn't stand each other from grade school up until twelfth grade, as soon as the end of high school came along they all forgave each other and got scared and strange, and started acting like they'd been friends forever. I can't imagine ever hugging Jeremy Jones or being sad at the idea of never seeing him again.

Jeremy Jones hate! We haven’t had that in awhile. April goes to a weird school. Grade 12 grads crying and pretending they are friends with their long time enemies? That’s a lot different from my high school graduation experience.

I hope she gets a car...that way I can see her more often and we can go to places like Ikea and I can get some furniture. I want to change my room around a bit.

April wants to spend her money on new furniture, every teenage girl’s dream with their fun money. Also, a very subtle lead-in to how Liz is going to run into Anthony, when she goes to get a car.

Mike's Letter, June 2006

I would not have figured Melville and Winnie Kelpfroth as university professors and war historians. However, I found Mike’s essay on the Kelpfroths where he is trying to understand them while at the same time lacing every other statement with an insult of them, a very good character study of Mike, more than Melville.

Change of subject. I've started to write. Nothing major. I'm not about to release a novel to the wind - but I'm writing and it's a satisfying change from the stuff that I have to write in order to make a living.

So Mike has started to write. What was he doing before? I don’t remember any strips with Lawrence, Mike and Gordon menacing the neighbourhood, but perhaps “lust for laughter” means something different to Mike than to me.

Dee's Letter, June 2006

Our daycare staff is also helpful, but they're unable to take care of the sick ones and we understand.

Our daycare staff? What does that mean? They own the daycare?

The nighttime vigil serves two purposes; it keeps Robin attended to, and it keeps our downstairs neighbours from getting upset. They've been complaining to Lovey that they hear Robin crying in the middle of the night.

Retcon Alert: We didn’t see the Kelpfroths complain about Robin in the strip, but here they have.

Oh well...Merrie loves seeing her Grandma, so I encourage the visits - Meredith isn't getting enough attention from Mike and me lately because we're so occupied with Robin.

Which grandparent is the one acknowledged by Dee as paying attention to the grandchildren? Elly may talk a good game, but the mother of the children knows Mira rules.

Whoops - I almost forgot to tell you about Andrea.

Andrea again in a monthly letter. I expect to see this one in the strip.

Grandpa's Letter, June 2006
I like squirrels. Sometimes I'll toss them a peanut or two, but we're not encouraged to do so.

Grandpa can’t spoil Dixie, but Iris can spoil a squirrel.

Let me see if I have this straight. Melba Frilby leaves her dentures out in the ladies’ washroom. Then she goes to have sex with Dorce McTaggart. Wanda O’Doon finds the dentures and then gets her cousin, the superintendent of the building, Fred, to let her into Dorce’s apartment so she can put the dentures in one of his slippers under the bed. This is supposed to embarrass Dorce and Wanda, who don’t want anyone to know that they’ve been having sex. If I were an old geezer and I could get it going with a woman, I don’t think I would be ashamed. Please no more of this next month. I have no idea how this could be a tale of “intrigue and suspence” except it is intriguing and suspenceful how crazy old people are.

The Pets' Letter, June 2006

Gramps and Iris don't like to take her for morning walks and one accident (which happened) was one too many.

An accident with Dixie during a morning walk. I guess we aren’t going to find out the details about that either.

When I'm retired, I'm not going to do anything. I'm going to sit on the beach with my MP3 player (or whatever we're using for music in 50 years) and read books all day.

April’s idea of retirement is to retire in 50 years when she would be 65. That just goes to show she has actually learned something useful from her mother after all.

April is pet-washing obsessed, whereas Liz has a pet-washing phobia after having done it one time in the 2 years she has owned Shiimsa.

Poor kitty. I can't wait to visit her this summer when Liz is in Mississauga. It isn't too far away. Mom and Dad won't let me take the GO train by myself, but maybe I can get Mom to drop me off for a couple of days and I can stay with Liz. That would be great. Originally, Liz was hoping Shiimsa could stay with us, but Mm said no.

Liz and April in Mississauga would be a fun story. I hope we actually get to see it. Also, Shiimsa provides a nice excuse for not staying with Elly. Good kitty.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Panel 1: We do not get to see Liz’s response to Jesse calling her on her line about having a reason for everything from yesterday’s strip. What we know is that whatever response Liz gave, Jesse went home and Liz followed him (in sock feet if the colourist is to be believed). So we can presume she gave a pretty upsetting answer, or knowing Liz, just made some extraordinarily bad pun like there “No. Jesse what I said was that everything vibrates, so there is a reason-ance or ‘resonance’ for everything. Get it?” In any case, we learn today that Mtigwaki is advanced enough to have recycling pick up, and Jesse’s aunt Marg has such a problem with flies, that she leaves a flyswatter hanging outside her door.

Panel 2: Liz tries to sooth Jesse by explaining that leaving Mtigwaki is going to be hard for her. I suppose she shouldn’t mention she cried she was so happy she got a job in Mississauga to Jesse, like she did to Paul. Jesse, in the meantime, has assumed the old 1950s Superman flying pose in his bed. Jesse’s bed looks a lot like Meredith’s bed. He has toy car on the headboard/bookcase, and beside the hung picture, he has 2 drawings, one of which looks to me to be a geometrically-shaped chicken head.

Panel 3: Unlike yesterday, Liz does not promise to visit Mtigwaki. I guess she realized that was not going to happen, so she might as well stop lying about it. These promises are much easier. A single letter will satisfy the writing promise, and she knows that Aunt Marg is not going to pack up Jesse and drive all the way to Mississauga for a visit. Liz mistakes Jesse’s emotion for anger, when what it appears to me to be is grief.

Panel 4: Jesse is like a gigantic bottle of green things which Aunt Marg appears to be trying to open. Possibly she is having difficulty because her left eye is significantly higher on her face than her right. Or possibly she is distracted by Liz’s sudden loss of any eyes. Or possibly it’s because Aunt Marg is angry because she did the final pun of the strip one panel too early and now she has to keep talking in the next panel. Aunt Marg says to herself, “It was a 4-panel strip yesterday. I was expecting 4 panels. Why is it 5 today?”

Panel 5: Aunt Marg’s hair experiences a sudden growth since the prior panel and she waxes philosophically about glass bottles where you can’t what’s inside. Liz has a startled look on her face as she thinks, “Wait! You can see inside a glass bottle. I can see those green things. We are never going to let Aunt Marg give the closing pun of the strip again. She is just blowing it.” So, Jesse is a boy who bottles things up and won’t speak to people. It is so good to see that after 2 years of being taught by Liz, he follows his teacher’s example so well.